Preparation is the most crucial step in the interview process; this could be your only chance to impress the potential employer. Here are some helpful tips to ensure a productive interview.
- Know all the details about the interview ahead of time including the exact location, directions, interview time and the names and titles of everyone you will be meeting.
- Be prepared by researching the company. The internet allows you to have an incredible amount of information at your fingertips so take advantage of it. Go to the company’s website to learn about their annual revenues, principal lines of business, market position and recent press releases.
- Find out from your recruiter what skills are most important to the hiring manager. Be ready to explain how you have utilized or demonstrated these specific skills.
- Dress professionally. Although many companies have adopted a business casual dress code, first impressions are very important.
- Prepare relevant questions. This allows you the opportunity to better understand the position, as well as reinforces your interest from the client’s point of view.
Sample Interview Questions to Ask
- What characteristics make people successful in this company?
- What outside influences do you anticipate having the biggest affect on the company's growth?
- What are the short and long-range objectives of the company?
- What are immediate priorities and long-term goals of the position?
- What is the organizational structure of the department and the overall company?
- How long was the last person in this position, and what made them successful?
- What are the expectations of the person coming into this position in the first six months?
- What do you see as the biggest obstacle for the person coming into this position?
- What do you see as the primary focus of this department?
- What sets this company apart from the competition?
- What attracted the hiring manager to this organization?
Most Commonly Asked Questions to Be Prepared to Answer
- Tell me about yourself. (Hit the major highlights in a framework of one minute.)
- Why are you leaving your current position? (Never speak negatively about current or past employers.)
- What are your long range and short-range goals and objectives?
- What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- How would your manager/co-workers describe you?
- What are you looking for in a new position?
- What distinguishes you from your peer group?
- What has been your biggest professional/personal challenge or accomplishment?
- Why should we hire you?
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
- Tell me about a time when you had to handle multiple responsibilities. How did you organize the work you needed to do?
- Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
Following up with a thank you note after the interview is an ideal way to remind the hiring manager of your interest, ability and professionalism.